Saturday, November 10, 2007

Out of Iraq, bring 'em back!

So says Montana in successful election referendums passed this week. Helena & Missoula in Big Sky Country, never the bastion of liberalism has had it with this ill conceived morass in Iraq and is searching for a peaceful future.

The Missoula News reports:
Here in Montana we often read the results from national polling and wonder if they represent our views. But in both Missoula and Helena, referendums to bring the disastrous war in Iraq to an immediate end passed with overwhelming margins that almost exactly reflect what the national polls have been saying. Simply put, about two-thirds of our citizens agree with the campaign slogan of the Iraq referendum organizers: "Out of Iraq, bring 'em back."

Critics of the ballot measures complain that the referendums are meaningless and that municipal governments have no business involving themselves in foreign policy, much less opposing President Bush, the self-described "war president," while troops engage in active combat around the world.

In Helena, those opposing the peace referendum went so far as to put their own ballot measure in front of voters that called on Congress to "fund our military forces totally and without conditions in the global war on terror." Obviously having the opposing measures in front of voters presented a clear choice and, perhaps not surprisingly, when the ballots were counted the votes reflected public sentiment in an equally clear manner.

Helena's peace referendum drew about 62 percent approval with the opposing measure losing by almost exactly the same numbers. Missoula voters approved their own peace referendum by an even larger margin, drawing 64 percent of the vote. Considering the clear language of the measure, which calls for Congress "to authorize and fund an immediate and orderly withdrawal of the United States military from Iraq," it's hard to see how anyone can misinterpret the results.

That these votes were cast on the same day as the announcement that 2007 has become the deadliest year in Iraq for American soldiers only adds to the urgency to pull us out of the expensive and un-winnable war immediately.

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